NZRU close to signing new sponsors

Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew says his organisation is in advanced talks with a company that will replace Philips as sponsor of the TriNations: (quote)While we don’t have any ink on paper yet, I’m very confident a new agreement will be signed.(end quote) Mr Tew went on to say that Ford, previously reported as placing its Super 14 and All Blacks deals under review, will be a non-starter for 2010. (quote) It’s fair to say our discussions with Ford are at an end (end quote).

The NZRU chief executive emphasises he is confident Ford’s dual sponsorships will be filled, and that Philips’ replacement will be announced well before the first TriNations game kicks off July 18. “Discussions are at an advanced stage … It’s not all doom and gloom,” he says.

For Air New Zealand, things are turned down, a little. The national carrier renewed its deal with the NZRU in late January signing a three-year contract that saw its commitment to the All Blacks and the Super 14 unchanged, but a downgrade to its sponsorship of the provincial championship. The airline’s new deal runs through until the end of 2011, but from 2010 it will lose naming rights to the Air NZ Cup. Similarly, while the company remains a Sevens sponsor, it lost its T-shirt signage from last month.

Looking ahead, however, it’s likely deals will see an improvement as the recession may well be bottoming out, and budding sponsors’ know that every brand associated with the All Blacks will get a lift from the 2011 World Cup.

We will bring you the news as it breaks!